EE has announced a new mobile plan for Apple’s iPhone which includes access to all the tech giant’s streaming and entertainment services for the first time.
The Full Works mobile plan, launched on Wednesday, includes access to Apple Music, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade for the duration has the tariff.
It comes ahead of the expected announcement of new iPhone handsets in the coming weeks, which are widely expected to be 5G-ready for the first time.
EE said the new mobile plan also includes unlimited data and the option for a phone upgrade at any point.
As an alternative, the operator also announced the new Smart iPhone Plan, which allows customers to choose one of the three services to include in their mobile bundle.
Marc Allera, chief executive of BT Consumer, which owns EE, said: “We’re always looking for ways to offer customers the best mobile experiences through partnerships with the world’s most innovative brands.
“And now, for the first time, they can get the best of EE and the best of Apple in one mobile plan.
“Allowing them to benefit from Apple Music, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade, unlimited mobile data, and the option to upgrade whenever they want, all on the UK’s no.1 network for 4G and 5G.”
Industry expert and chief of research at analyst firm CCS Insight, Ben Wood, said the new deals highlighted how widespread the expectation was that Apple would adopt 5G for the first time this year.
“These new tariffs reflect the growing anticipation associated with Apple’s next iteration of the iPhone which is widely expected to support 5G technology.
“Having invested significantly in its 5G network, there is little doubt EE is trying to make its network as attractive as possible to customers upgrading to the latest iPhone when it becomes available,” he said.
“With the iPhone dominating sales in the UK, all the network operators will be jostling to position themselves as the best network for iPhone owners.
“These are typically the most valuable subscribers in a network operator’s customer base.
“I expect a flurry of marketing and attractive tariff plans to come from all the UK networks as they try to woo new customers from competitors and retain the iPhone owners they already have.”
A number of other major smartphone manufacturers, including Samsung, have already released a number of 5G-enabled handsets.
Mr Wood added that it was unusual for Apple to do bespoke deals with network operators, so the announcement should be considered a “coup” for EE.
“That said, there is no question that there is a big incentive for Apple to support this initiative given its increased focus on services such as music, TV and gaming,” he said.
“If Apple can get iPhone owners hooked on these services, particularly if they are baked into their monthly bill, eventually they become the ‘gift that keeps on giving’ providing ongoing revenues for the lifetime of the phone beyond the initial margin on the hardware.”